A bill approved by a House Committee Wednesday could result in the first restructuring of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in around twenty years. The House Science and Technology Committee has approved the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, which looks to promote the current director of NIST, Patrick Gallagher, to the position of undersecretary for standards and technology in the Department of Commerce and decrease the number of laboratories.
The bill will now head into the House and will still keep the Information Technology Laboratory, which provides cybersecurity and IT guidance to government agencies. It will also give the director of NIST wide latitude to make any additional changes. The restructuring is designed to reflect the current needs and be more efficient.
“The current lab structure of 10 operating units is more than 20 years old and no longer reflects today’s technology sectors or the inherent and increasing multi-disciplinary nature of technology,” Rep. David Wu, said. “This bill authorizes a lab structure of six operating units to promote efficiency and a cross-disciplinary culture at NIST.”
You can read the bill here